OPENING

BOILING POINT -- Varsity Calendar

CABARET BALKAN -- Broadway Market

LOVE STINKS -- Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11, Varsity

STIGMATA -- Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

STIR OF ECHOES -- Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

VIOLENT COP -- Varsity Calendar


REPERTORY & REVIVAL

AUTEURS OF THE '70s -- Seattle Art Museum

THE BOOK OF LIFE -- Grand Illusion

THE CENTURY OF CINEMA -- Grand Illusion

LINDA'S SUMMER MOVIES -- Linda's Tavern

MY DINNER WITH ANDRE -- Little Theatre

QUE VIVA MEXICO! -- New Freeway Hall

TERMITE TV -- 911 Media Arts

YELLOW SUBMARINE -- Egyptian


COMING SOON

September 17 -- Black Cat, White Cat, Blue Streak, Grand Illusion, Return with Honor, The Acid House, For Love of the Game, Molly

September 24 -- Guinevere, Earth, Best Laid Plans, The Minus Man, Dog Park, Double Jeopardy, Leila, Jakob the Liar, Mumford, American Beauty


MOVIES & EVENTS

The 13th Warrior
As Ibn Fahdlan, a 10th-century traveler from Baghdad who wrote about his encounters with Vikings, Antonio Banderas gives a disappointingly flat performance. In fact, there is virtually no character development at all, but for those who like rock 'em, sock 'em, blood spurtin' action, this is an entertaining enough film with good pacing, excellent production values, and gorgeous cinematography. (Melody Moss) Factoria, Grand Alder-wood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

Amazon
An IMAX examination of the lush forests and exotic animals of the Amazon river basin. Omnidome

American Pie
The story should be familiar to anyone who came of age in the '80s: Four high school seniors make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate. Pacific Place 11

The Astronaut's Wife
Jillian (Charlize Theron) is a pretty young teacher married to an astronaut named Spencer (Johnny Depp). Everybody says he's the best husband in the world, but all we see of him is how he's watching TV in bed with his wife the night before being shot off into space. While he's in space, there's a life-threatening accident, and NASA loses contact with him for two minutes. When he returns, everybody says he's changed, Jillian thinks he might be infected with an evil alien, but all we see is the very same self-centered astronaut. Nothing wrong with that, 'cept the filmmakers seem to think we care if Jillian is married to a nice guy, an asshole, or an alien. We don't, mainly because Jillian is the most cardboard of characters. When she becomes pregnant, well, I'll just say I liked this movie a lot better when it was Rosemary's Baby. (Andy Spletzer) Pacific Place 11

*Auteurs of the '70s
Scarecrow Video's "Auteurs of the '70s" series continues with Michael Cimino's virtually plotless cattle drama, Heaven's Gate (Thurs Sept 9 at 7:30, $6). Then comes Robert Altman's Images (Thurs Sept 16 at 7:30, $6). Call 524-8554 for more details. Seattle Art Museum

Benefit for the Olympia Film Festival
Party for a good cause, as the "Sweet 16" Olympia Film Festival attempts to raise some funds for this year's event. The evening includes dancing, a matchmaker's "personals" booth, and CD giveaways! Sat Sept 11 at 8, $3; 21+ only. Olympia Film Festival

Better Than Chocolate
The setup is typical TV sitcom: Budding artist Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) meets and falls in love with free-spirited Kim (Christina Cox), hours before she learns her mother and brother will be spending the summer with her. The catch? She's not out to mom yet. Despite complications, everything works out jim-dandy, like you knew it would. The film's weaknesses are the amateurish performances by secondary characters, and the unbelievable naiveté of Maggie's mother. That said, the film has far more substance than dreck like Bar Girls or It's in the Water, depicting discrimination not only in straight society, but in the gay community as well. (Gillian G. Gaar) Broadway Market

*The Blair Witch Project
In 1994, while shooting a documentary on the myth of "The Blair Witch," three film students mysteriously disappeared in the woods. The missing trio included director Heather Donahue, sound engineer Michael Williams, and cameraman Joshua Leonard. A year later, their video and film cameras, along with the footage, are found in the basement of an abandoned home. Though a fictional film, The Blair Witch Project is effective because it seems real. Too real, even. (Charles Mudede) Meridian 16, Neptune, Redmond Town Center

Boiling Point
Another bullet-flying, action-packed Takeshi Kitano flick, in which Kitano and his teenage sidekick cause showdowns to erupt all over Tokyo and Okinawa. Fri-Thurs Sept 10-16 at (Sat-Sun 1:15), 5:20, 9:45. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

The Book of Life
For the smart, indie, art film lover/hipster in all of us: Hal Hartley's The Book of Life features sexy-scary PJ Harvey (who also provides music for the soundtrack), Martin Donovan, and a Mac Powerbook (as "the Book of Life") in an "experimentally created digital video" film about Jesus, the Devil, a potential apocalypse, and the power of double-clicking on a laptop. Fri Sept 10-Thurs Sept 23 at (Sat-Sun 4:15), 5:30, 6:45, 8, 9:15. Grand Illusion

*Bowfinger
Steve Martin's clever script celebrates a low-rent would-be producer (Martin) who dedicates his life savings ($2,184) to finally directing a feature film. His crew is loyal, but now more than ever you need a big star to open a picture. His ingenious solution is to surreptitiously film the world's biggest action star (Eddie Murphy), and build the film around him. The laughs are plentiful, Murphy gives two of his best performances, and director Frank Oz moves things along at an energetic clip. (Bruce Reid) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

Brokedown Palace
Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale play high school grads who get horny in Thailand, then end up jailed as fall guys for a hunky drug smuggler. For much of its length, Brokedown Palace is a slightly xenophobic guilty pleasure, but it fizzles away into My So-Called Midnight Express. (Steve Wiecking) City Centre, Redmond Town Center

Buena Vista Social Club
Director Wim Wenders and musician Ry Cooder collaborate on this documentary on the Cuban super-group, the Buena Vista Social Club. Winner of the Golden Space Needle for Best Documentary. Seven Gables

Cabaret Balkan
Formerly known as The Powder Keg, Cabaret Balkan charts one long, dark, chaotic night on the streets of Belgrade. Reviewed this issue. Broadway Market

The CENTURY OF CINEMA
The Grand Illusion's weekend matinee series reaches a millennial crescendo with the 10 greatest films of each decade of the 20th Century, as painstakingly chosen by 10 local film critics. This weekend, The Great Train Robbery and Intolerance will be shown. Sat-Sun Sept 11-12 at noon. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

Chill Factor
Looks like another formula action film for Cuba Gooding Jr. Here, he and Skeet "Never Quite Made It" Ulrich need to keep a weapon of mass destruction cold, lest it go off! Eeeeesh. Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Northgate

Detroit Rock City
Detroit Rock City is about the joys of being an adolescent male in love. In love with KISS, that is. Uptown

Dick
Hold on before writing Dick off as yet another retro look at those wacky, wacky '70s. The transformation of Arlene (Michelle Williams, of Dawson's Creek fame) and Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) from oblivious teens to "secret youth advisors" to the President is a hoot. And Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch are an improbably doofy Woodward and Bernstein. Even Tricky Dick Nixon (Dan Hedaya) is humanized. (Gillian G. Gaar) City Centre

*The Dinner Game
Written and directed by the master of the French farce, Francis Veber, The Dinner Game is an excellent comedy. The story is about a circle of well-to-do snobs who bring idiots to dinner parties to make fun of them. (Charles Mudede) City Centre

Dudley Do-Right
Brendan "George of the Jungle" Fraser plays a stupid Canadian (wow, that's redundant!) Mountie. Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16

The Eruption of Mount St. Helens
The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

Everest
The first IMAX footage ever shot on top of the world. Pacific Science Center

*Eyes Wide Shut
Stanley Kubrick's last film contains an intact slice of a young couple's life (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman): In order to study this perfect relationship, Kubrick destroys it. Guild 45th

An Ideal Husband
Just what we needed, another British period piece dealing with class issues. Yawn. Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) is an upstanding politician being blackmailed by Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore). Everyone in the movie seems like they're play-acting at being high society folks. I'm sure that's fun for them, but it's no fun to watch. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market, Grand Alderwood, Metro

In Too Deep
In Too Deep is about a young police officer (the charming and very handsome Omar Epps) who is obsessed with bringing down a big drug dealer named God (LL Cool J), who ruthlessly runs a multi-million dollar crack operation in the ghettos of Cincinnati. The story is very predictable; and in terms of depth and structure, Bill Duke's 1991 film of nearly the same name, Deep Cover, did a better job on this ancient theme of friendship and betrayal. Despite obvious holes in the plot and the lack of any significant female roles, the film is beautifully photographed, so at least it's fun to watch. (Charles Mudede) Uptown

Into the Deep
An IMAX film in 3-D, putting you right into the aquarium. Pacific Science Center

The Iron Giant
Giant robot falls to earth, befriends a local boy, and eats lots of metal. An animated film from Warner Brothers. Metro, Northgate, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

*LINDA'S SUMMER MOVIES
This week, for Linda's beer patio cinema: Irwin Allen and his early sci-fi television shows will be the focus, and Lost In Space (1967) will be shown along with Land of the Giants (1968). The original commercials -- half the fun of watching vintage TV shows -- will, of course, be included. Wed Sept 15 at dusk, FREE. Linda's Tavern

Love Stinks
To get down to it, this movie is silly -- but that's the point. It's a silly movie about a pretty woman (Bridgette Wilson) who wants to marry a rich man (French Stewart). The two fight a lot, and matters turn for the worse when it becomes clear to her that he is not going to "pop the big question." Gorgeous Tyra Banks has a role in this movie, but I cannot judge whether her performance was good or bad, as all I noticed when she appeared onscreen was her fabulous figure (dang!). Bill Bellamy is also in this picture, playing Banks' handsome hubby; and though I think he is the finest-looking comedian on Earth, he is certainly not the funniest. I must admit that a lot of people laughed like hyenas on holiday during the screening of this movie, and some even applauded at the end. So there are many in this town who will enjoy this vapid little comedy more than I did. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11, Varsity

The Lovers on the Bridge
A romantic drama about two artists who meet, fall in love, get drunk, and live on the Pont-Neuf in Paris. With Juliette Binoche. Thurs Sept 9 at 4:20, 7, 9:35. Varsity Calendar

Mickey Blue Eyes
Bumbling Hugh Grant plays a Mafia-type. Is that funny or what? Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Southcenter

*The Muse
Through the advice of a successful friend (Jeff Bridges), screenwriter Albert Brooks employs the services of Sharon Stone, a purported Divine Muse, in hopes that she will inspire him to write a smash comedy for Jim Carrey. Brooks takes a wily and well-deserved stab at the superficial industry that has kept him second-string for so many years. Albert Brooks has always been just as brutal to himself as he is to society, and it's this brutal quality that is somewhat lacking in The Muse, despite the fact that you probably won't find a smarter comedy this year. (Steve Wiecking) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Meridian 16

My Dinner with Andre
Two men sit in a restaurant and talk about how miserable the world, people, the theater community, and even themselves are. Feeling terrible, Andre Gregory launches into story after story of his spiritual quest for enlightenment through experimental theater, and how it never worked. When Wallace Shawn pipes up, it's in defense of modern-day comforts that tend to separate us from the harshness of the world, things like electric blankets (remember those?). It all could have been unbearable, really, but director Louis Malle had the brilliant idea to film it as though it was a comedy. That's why it works as well as it does. Thurs-Sun Sept 9-12 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. (Andy Spletzer) Little Theatre

Mystery Men
The Mystery Men are second-rate superheroes. The actors are great, the world of the film is bizarre and funny, but the whole thing slowly turns into a standard children's story where these makeshift superheroes need to learn to believe in themselves and work as a team. (Andy Spletzer) Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Milos Forman's film based on Ken Kesey's novel, starring Jack Nicholson as a crook posing as a crazy guy in a nuthouse. As if he needed to pretend. Screened with digital sound and image. Fri Sept 10 at dusk, $5. Fremont Outdoor Movies

Outside Providence
Tim "Dump" Dunphy is your average '70s burnout from a boring small town. One night, stoned out of his mind, he plows into a police car, so his dad sends him off to prep school. Needless to say, he doesn't fit in, but he does manage to get the girl, turn the school upside down, and learn about himself in the process, blah, blah, blah. As coming-of-age tales go, Outside Profidence is perfectly fine, but it's Alec Baldwin who stands out as Dump's emotionally crippled dad. Both funny and sad, he alone is nearly worth the price of admission, and makes you wish the film was actually about his coming of age. Instead, they're stuck with what they have: A film we've all seen many, many times before. (Bradley Steinbacher) Metro, Pacific Place 11

Que Viva Mexico!
Catch up on your Mexican history with Seattle's Radical Women, and attend this dinner & screening of Sergei Eisenstien's Que Viva Mexico. The film is about the traditional lifestyle of Indio/Mestizo people, the arrival of Spanish Conquistadors, and the Mexican Revolution. The dinner is about tasty Mexican food, with vegetarian options. Thurs Sept 16 at 7:30, $6.50 donation; childcare available. New Freeway Hall

The Red Violin
For their follow-up to the marvelous Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, director François Girard and his co-writer Don McKellar have fashioned another loosely structured ode to music, this time following a legendary violin as it passes through various (well, three or four) owners before it winds up in auction. Harvard Exit

*Run Lola Run
A young Berlin hipster named Lola has 20 minutes to find enough money to stop her boyfriend from being killed. German filmmaker Tom Tykwer tells the story three times, each with different but equally incredible twists, surprises, tangents, and endings -- which is exactly what makes this movie fun to watch. (Charles Mudede) Harvard Exit, Redmond Town Center

Runaway Bride
Director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) reunites with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere to make another cheerful movie about two opposites who attract and (of course) end up together. What develops is typical Hollywood Lite. (Min Liao) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*The Sixth Sense
Bruce Willis plays a child psychologist who is shot by a former patient of his, now all grown up, naked, and angry for not being "cured." Months later, he's become obsessed with that failure, and his marriage is suffering. Meanwhile, he has started treating a new patient who, as you probably know from the ads, sees dead people. Though the direction of the story by M. Night Shyamalan is often obvious, the structure of his script is very smart and more than makes up for that. Most impressive is that we don't see the boy's ghosts for half the film. When we do it's quite scary, particularly knowing these are the dead people he sees all the time! (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Star Wars: Episode I
The threadbare plot is nothing compared to the hype and nostalgia of the George Lucas marketing machine. (Jamie Hook) Cinerama

Stigmata
The millennium is approaching, and you know what that means: The devil is back! Here, Gabriel Byrne is on a mission from the Vatican to find out what the devil is wrong with Patricia Arquette. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Stir of Echoes
Kevin Bacon hears dead people. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Swords and Tight Pants
Put the PC-"Equal Rights"-feminist pretensions aside for one night: Let the women be gorgeous damsels and one-dimensional dolls, and the men be dashing heroes and virile lovers. Tonight's films -- The Princess Bride and The Mask of Zorro -- celebrates this cheesy, manly, romantic, and slightly infuriating genre. With a live performance by Fedora. Sat Sept 11 at 7, $5. Fremont Outdoor Cinema

Teaching Mrs. Tingle
High school kids kidnap and threaten to kill a much-hated teacher. Unfortunately, Kevin Williamson's directorial debut fails to live up to its potential. (Gillian G. Gaar) Meridian 16

Termite TV
It's the ultimate Millennial Bohemian Fantasy: Quit your job, leave home, and go on the road in a school bus/mobile production studio. Your objective? To shoot cool-looking videos, and document American life as you roll across the country, calling your filmmaking project Termite TV. Intrigued? Find out about all the fuss as Termite TV arrives in Seattle to work on their Northwest segment. Money, their latest film about Internet stocks, electronic currency, advertisers & consumers, and all that scary global economy stuff, will also be shown. Thurs Sept 16 at 8, $4. 911 Media Arts

*The Thomas Crown Affair
One of the surprising things about the new Thomas Crown Affair is that it manages to keep the fun tone of the '68 version and update it at the same time, which is not an easy trick. Thomas Crown is a billionaire businessman who likes to rob art museums on the side. When a beautiful insurance investigator (Rene Russo) comes to town to recover a painting she immediately suspects Thomas Crown. They fall for each other, all the while playing a flirtatious game of cat and mouse. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Grand Alder-wood, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree

Trick
When director Jim Fall's feature film debut is really working (which is surprisingly often), it's smiling gently at the notion that anything between two people could ever be simple. There's some misplaced romanticism and more than a little gay fantasy involved in rooting for the Nerd and the Stripper, but Jason Schafer's amiable script is as erotic and funny as it is unlikely. (Steve Wiecking) Broadway Market

Twin Falls Idaho
Siamese twins Blake and Francis Falls celebrate another birthday with chocolate cake and a prostitute (Michele Hicks). What follows is an unlikely love story between the three people. Twin Falls Idaho is a smart and imaginative American independent film, which is rare these days. (Andy Spletzer) Varsity

Universal Soldier: The Return
Jean-Claude Van Damme returns (without Dolph Lundgren) in this sequel to the film nobody cared about to begin with. Meridian 16

Violent Cop
Japanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano's debut thriller about a brutal detective who stretches rules (and ethics) to get the bad guys. Fri-Thurs Sept 10-16 at (Sat-Sun 3:10), 7:30. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

*Yellow Submarine
The Beatles fight to restore harmony to Pepperland, pursued by kinky boot beasts, mutant dogs and, best of all, Blue Meanies. This newly restored, animated head trip features candy-colored art design by Heinz Edelman so stunning to look at that, even when the film lags (which it often does) you won't care. Oh, and the music ain't bad, either. Until Thurs Sept 16 at (Sat-Sun 1, 3:10), 5:20, 7:30, 9:40, (Fri-Sat 11:45). (Steve Wiecking) Egyptian

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